ZWConcepts

Photography, art, writing

Periodic Table of Storytelling by artist *ComputerSherpa

June13

deviantART Periodic Table of Storytelling

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AutoCrit Editing Wizard

May17

AutoCrit Editing Wizard

The AutoCrit Editing Wizard is an instant
book editor. With the click of a button, it
shows you the problems in your manuscript.

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The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

May16

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

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Nobody tells this to beginners

May1

Nobody tells this to beginners | Before & After | Design Talk
“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

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The Coffee House Wordsmith: What Every Writer Can Learn From the Asshole at Starbucks

May1

The Coffee House Wordsmith: What Every Writer Can Learn From the Asshole at Starbucks

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How Inflection Creates Meaning | ::the open end::

January9

How Inflection Creates Meaning

I didn’t say she stole my money.

  • I didn’t say she stole my money. —> [but someone said it]
  • I didn’t say she stole my money. —> [I definitely didn’t say it]
  • I didn’t say she stole my money. —> [but I implied it]
  • I didn’t say she stole my money. —> [but someone stole it]
  • I didn’t say she stole my money. —> [but she did something with it]
  • I didn’t say she stole my money. —> [she stole someone else’s]
  • I didn’t say she stole my money. —> [she took something else]

Note: This appeared in Tony Attwood’s “Asperger’s Syndrome”, but originally appeared in Andrew Matthews’ “Making Friends”.

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The Biggest Mistakes Writers Make When Querying Literary Agents

December15

The Biggest Mistakes Writers Make When Querying Literary Agents

You would think that these are no-brainers. You’d also be wrong…

A beautiful quote by Rilke about writing poetry. “For the sake of a single poem…”

October18

A beautiful quote by Rilke about writing poetry. “For the sake of a single poem…” : writing
“For the sake of a single poem, you must see many cities, many people and Things, you must understand animals, must feel how birds fly, and know the gesture which small flowers make when they open in the morning. You must be able to think back to streets in unknown neighborhoods, to unexpected encounters, and to partings you had long seen coming; to days of childhood whose mystery is still unexplained, to parents whom you had to hurt when they brought in a joy and you didn’t pick it up (it was a joy meant for somebody else); to childhood illnesses that began so strangely with so many profound and difficult transformations, to days in quiet restrained rooms and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, but it is still not enough to be able to think of all that. You must have memories of many nights of love, each one different from all the others, memories of women screaming in labor, and of light, pale, sleeping girls who have just given birth and are closing again. But you must also have been beside the dying, must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open windows and the scattered noises. And it is not yet enough to have memories. You must be able to forget them when they are many, and you must have the immense patience to wait until they return. For the memories themselves are not important. Only when they have changed into our very blood, into glance and gesture, and are nameless, no longer to be distinguished from ourselves only then can it happen that in some very rare hour the first word of a poem arises in their midst and goes forth from them.”

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Taditional academic writing

October14

I was discussing traditional academic writing form with a friend and I realized that this would make a wonderful post. So, I give you my first original content post.

Enjoy…
In the traditional essay everyone learns in high school, you have 5 paragraphs (or sections):

  1. Intro
  2. point 1
  3. point 2
  4. point 3
  5. Conclusion

In each paragraph sans introduction, the first sentence is the topic. It’s what you want to talk about. The rest of the paragraph is supporting evidence and arguments concerning. The last sentence connects that topic to the next. This transition may either be explicit or, given a point-list format of discussion, a conclusion to that point… something to round it out and bring a sense of closure.

The intro paragraph usually but not always starts out with some broad declaration regarding the subject matter and moves toward something specific. Here is your only chance to get the reader’s attention. You’re on borrowed time with the reader so they need to see immediately if what you have to say is worth their time. This is why the topic sentence, the most important point should be the last sentence. It’s a good start and transition but mostly it’s because it’s where everyone expects to see it. When they scan/skim your paper, they want to see that immediately so they go to that last sentence in the first paragraph. If it is not your topic, then you will have a confused reader. There are exceptions to this construction but those involve contradictions or specific ways of getting the reader’s attention.

In the conclusion, the first sentence is usually a restatement of your topic. It does not have to be word for word identical. It can be a transition sentence from argument to recap. It does, in every case, need to prepare the reader for the close. By this time, all questions should be answered, all points covered. The rest of the conclusion paragraph needs to carry you through what you taught the reader and move towards a thought provoking end. This can be a quotation, a question, or maybe even a shocking statement that is in line or even contradictory to your point.

The advantages to this form is that you instantly have the points for your outline should you need to make one. Every single point, citation, argument and subpoint are immediately findable and there for you to find. If you ever need to make a powerpoint presentation for your paper, you can go through and immediately copy and paste into a Word outline and import that into Powerpoint and it will instantly convert each point into the proper slide with appropriate sub points. This will literally save you hours of work. If you are more visual, I’d recommend going to inspiration.com and downloading a trial of their software. It uses a visual charting approach to creating ideas and fleshing them out. It’ll convert directly to Word in outline format. From there, it’s just a matter of converting into Powerpoint or copy and paste for a paper, again, saving hours of work. Does this mean that you should make your outline first, if at all? Not necessarily but if you ever need to go that route, there it is. That’s how “traditional” this format is.

A couple tips:

  • If you find that you need two paragraphs to cover one point, refine your point. Rarely should a point cover more than one paragraph. There are instances where it may be necessary such as an extremely complex subject, convoluted explanations that cannot be simplified, the explanation of a process or picking at multiple angles of the same point. Generally, however, this is not the case.
  • I had an instructor at FTCC that said something I thoroughly enjoy sharing with other people regarding the length of a paragraph: “It should be like a woman’s skirt: short enough to keep it interesting but long enough to cover the point.”
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Glossary of Literary Terms

October13

Glossary of Literary Terms

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